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Be Glad and Rejoice in His Salvation – An Easter Exhortation

Introduction

Today is a day to be glad and rejoice in our God’s salvation. For many it is possible to live their lives far removed from the events we commemorate on this day.  But Jesus our Lord really did triumph over the grave!  He vanquished death and has secured for all believers the blessings of eternal life.  Sometimes it feels as if it were not so.  Sometimes death still seems so formidable.  But that is only because our vision is not yet able to penetrate the fog.  Could you and I but see through this mist into the future when what has been promised will finally be fully brought to pass; then we would be glad.  Then we would rejoice, not half-heartedly, but with all our being.  The trick is to learn to rejoice and be glad now, in anticipation of the fullness of joy we’ll know then.

There is much to rejoice in today.  You and I, as believers, have been written into an amazing story, the greatest story ever conceived, written, or told.  God Himself entered into this story by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer death and to rise again in glory.  And now, two thousand years after those events, this story is still being played out in our lives.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the dramatic climax of the story.  But though that happened 2,000 years ago, the resurrection is still working its way powerfully through the lives of all people.  The world is still being rocked by this amazing event.  We do not yet see the fullness of resurrection glory—that awaits the final day to come.  But we do already see the world-altering power of Jesus’ resurrection.

A Feast is Scheduled on This Mountain

The prophet Isaiah saw the day of Christ’s resurrection long before it happened (Isa. 25:6-9).  The remarkable promises that Isaiah unfolds here are truly wondrous.  They are remarkable, first because these promises are for all people, not just for the Jews.  The prophet declares that God is going to undo the Fall of Adam and break down the separation of the nations at the Tower of Babel, all in one fell swoop.  Against all expectations, God promises to do something that will cause the ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.  The covering of death will be drawn back, and the grave’s power will be shattered.  Isaiah promises the resurrection and the glories it will bring.

And what glories there shall be.  Isaiah describes it as a tremendous feast.  Consider the menu – choice pieces, wine on the lees, fat things full of marrow.  This is Isaiah’s way of saying that there is going to be a huge party!  This celebration meal will be decked with sumptuous delicacies of every sort.  Rich, delicious, and fattening choices spread on this table.  The feast here predicted will find its ultimate fulfillment at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb at the end of the age after the great general resurrection of all men.  And yet, in light of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the feasting has already begun.  We meet on Sundays because on that day our Lord Jesus rose triumphant from the tomb.  We eat a commemorative meal (The Lord’s Supper), tasting in the present the glories of the age to come.  Right now, we celebrate and rejoice in the great salvation of our God, who has broken the chains that bound us and freed us from death.

The Veil is Lifted

The final day of resurrection is still in our future, when God will raise our mortal bodies in immortality and when this corruption will put on incorruption.  However, at the same time, the day of resurrection has already dawned.  Jesus the Lord broke the chains of death and sprang forth from the grave on Resurrection morning some 2,000 years ago.  Since that time, the power of His resurrection is at work, renewing, overhauling, and transforming the world, starting with the Church.  Believers are the people of the resurrection.  Our Lord has been raised from the dead.  Now we are being raised up too, by the power of the same Spirit, who raised up our Lord.  The veil of death that had been spread over all men is now being swept away.  The dark covering of death that all mankind suffered under has now been torn asunder.  Death has been swallowed up because Jesus Christ has risen.

We Have Waited…He Has Saved Us

Isaiah sums up this glorious promise of a festal celebration with a declaration of faith (Isa. 25:9).  “Behold, this is our God!”  The God we worship is the God who is in the process of undoing death and all the other effects of the Fall.  He is the God who has heard our cry for help and who has come near to save us.  He has done this by sending His only Son to suffer and to die for our sins and to rise again.  The resurrection of our Lord Jesus is the climactic act in the great drama of our redemption.  Before the resurrection of Jesus, all the world lay under the grip of darkness and of death.  But now life has triumphed over death and we have been saved, are being saved, and will finally be saved to the fullest, and all this by the power of the Resurrected One, Jesus Christ.

We have waited for Him.  All of the saints who lived in the Old Covenant looked forward in hope for the day of which Isaiah is speaking: the day in which death would be swallowed up and God’s people would be rescued.  They lived in darkness in hope of that future day.  But we live in a day in which the glories of the resurrection are already shining.  Isaiah predicts that those upon whom these wondrous things come will rejoice and be glad in their salvation.  This very salvation, which our God promised long ages ago, has now broken out among us.  Christ is risen!  We have life.  We have salvation.  Death is trampled down by the death of Christ and the resurrection of Jesus has brought in a whole new world.  How can we not be glad?  How can we fail to rejoice?

Conclusion

The Lord of Hosts has invited all men to a grand feast to celebrate the victory of His Son over the grave.  But the glorious feast of Christ, in which all sorrow, all grief, all deprivation, and even death itself shall be swallowed up, has already started.  Jesus Christ has already risen from the grave.    There is more to come, that’s certain.  But the resurrection is a present and a future reality.

This means that now is the time to rejoice and be glad.  Now is the day of salvation.  We have waited for the Lord, and He has already poured upon us the great load of “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”.  There is more to come, for sure.  The Lord is preparing a great feast beyond anything we’ve ever dreamed of.  That feast will be sumptuous with every good thing.  Yet, already the table is being set, the wine is being aged, the rich foods and delicacies are already in preparation.  Jesus Christ has already pulled back the veil that was cast upon all nations. This being so, today is the day to let loose our joy.  What has been promised, even the defeat of death itself, has already been achieved.  Death has not yet been fully eradicated.  But it has been dealt the death blow by Jesus.  The glories of the resurrection are ours today.  Let us be glad and rejoice! Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

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